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Published: September 24th 2015
So you thought you knew where we were going today, but you would be wrong.
The day started innocently enough and soon we were packed up and ready to roll. Just as we were about to move Joan remembered Greg had not emptied the toilet cassette as agreed. No big deal, off Greg went and the task was soon completed. But little did we know – the pattern had been set.
Greg entered our destination for two days time into the GPS and selected the route. We began to move off. Is that a strange squeaking sound we hear? Not sure what it is, so ignore it. Just onto the highway we decided perhaps we should investigate, so pull over and put on the handbrake, but wait it is already on! Opps. That explained the sluggish performance.
Driving along Greg can not understand how he missed the handbrake. It is only after some time we realise that we are heading East, not North as we were expecting. Will the road turn around? Lets go a little further. Some time later it is obvious we are not headed where we thought we were.
The GPS is taking us on the shortest route to Roma, since that is our destination this is not actually a problem. However at the next town, what ever it may be, we will have to pull over and work out fuel stops and an alternative place to stay for the night.
It seems we are headed toward Walgett, where we will turn North and go past Lightening Ridge. We get to see some new country.
Today the wind is stronger and comes at us from our front right corner. This increases fuel consumption and makes the caravan less stable. After a few hours of this Greg is definitely looking forward to turning North as that will put the wind behind us.
At the end of our morning coffee break we discover that we have been driving with one of the top vents open. What is it about today? We are normally so methodical with checking and double checking. However no harm is done.
In Walgett we find a lovely spot by the Barwon River for lunch. Although the river is relatively narrow it looks really healthy with
water weed and small fish able to be seen.
Over lunch we decide to overnight in the small border town of Hebel rather than Lightening Ridge, as this would balance out the driving distances for today and tomorrow. However since we are going past the famous opal mining town we will drop in to Lightening Ridge for a look.
Finally we have a tail wind that helps us on our way.
Lightening Ridge turns out to be a school holiday destination and a tourist trap, so we were glad to move on.
Initially expecting a free camp tonight, we started to discuss it as an option instead of the caravan park out the back of the general store in Hebel. That was not filling us with too much confidence.
Driving through the bush we looked for likely spots, but rest stops were few and far between. Eventually, 20km out of Hebel we spotted a rest stop and drove in to investigate. It was OK, and obviously used by trucks, but we were not quite convinced. Then Greg spotted a track heading away from the road into the
bush. We walked in to investigate as we need a lot of space to turn our caravan. In many of these rest stops there is often a secondary, unofficial area, better suited to free camping. Sure enough this turned out to be the case. Our van would fit between the trees with plenty of room to turn around. This is much better!
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